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Sidney's Rainbow Run at the Feaster Five Kids Race

Stephanie Guyotte | Published on 10/20/2023

The Feaster Five presents “Sidney’s Rainbow Run”

Kids Race at New England’s Largest Thanksgiving Day Road Race to honor Sidney Mae Olson

Feaster Five Road Race, a Thanksgiving Day tradition featuring family, fun, fitness and apple pie, announces the creation of Sidney’s Rainbow Run as the official kids’ race, made possible by a grant from On Running.

The 36th Annual Feaster Five Road Race presented by Schneider Electric is hosted by the Merrimack Valley Striders running club.  The Feaster Five is proud to announce this extension of its partnership with the Sidney Mae Olson Rainbow Fund for the 2023 event. 

The Andover-based non-profit was established in honor of Sidney Olson, 5, who was struck and killed by a vehicle while crossing the street in Elm Square, Andover. Focused on opening doors for kids to live active and curious lives, the organization supports a range of programs from a fast-growing kids running program to advocacy work for safer streets.

By naming the popular kids race in memory of Sidney, the Feaster Five hopes to celebrate Sidney’s joyous spirit - and bring more children into the sport of running.

“Running was a source of joy and a confidence builder for Sidney, and we know she would love for as many children as possible to experience that feeling,” said Sidney’s mother, Mary Beth Ellis, co-founder of the Sidney Mae Olson Rainbow Fund. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to celebrate her spirit at a race that our family loves so dearly, and we can’t wait to see a field full of rainbows on Thanksgiving Day.”

Sidney’s Rainbow Run will take place at 7:45 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, prior to the Feaster Five 5K and 5 mile events at 8:30 a.m.  The run will be held along the Balmoral Track in Andover.  

“We spend a lot of time talking about family, fitness and fun when it comes to the Feaster Five Road Race,” said Tom Licciardello, one of the founders of the Feaster Five. “With the support of Sidney’s family, who have long been a part of the Feaster Five family, we want to keep Sidney and her beautiful spirit at the front of our minds.”

Participants in Sidney’s Rainbow Run will receive a rainbow themed medal and the track will be decorated with rainbow elements to create a colorful event. The family has also created a Feaster Five team that is open to anyone racing, called Sidney’s Rainbow Runners. Registration for Sidney’s Rainbow Run is just $10. On Running, LaRosa’s and LaFina restaurants are sponsors of Sidney’s Rainbow Run. 

The Olson/Ellis family has long participated in the Feaster Five and Ellis, Sidney’s mother, is a world champion triathlete and a coach with the Merrimack Valley Striders. 

Along with Sidney’s Rainbow Fund, proceeds from the Feaster Five will support the Merrimack Valley Striders’ High School Scholarship fund, the Merrimack Valley YMCA, Bellesini Academy and Groundwork Lawrence. 

“Every year it is wonderful to see all types of families come together to complete this race. Whether they are running to beat their personal best or walking it for the first time, the Feaster Five is an event for everyone,”  said Robin Condon, president of the Merrimack Valley Striders, the host club of the Feaster Five.  “Using the proceeds from this race to support these organizations in our community make it an extra special event.”

The Thanksgiving Day family-friendly race offers a 5K or 5 Mile route option, with all finishers receiving a Table Talk Apple Pie at the end of the race.

Registration is open now and the first 5,000 registrants are  guaranteed to receive the high quality, long-sleeved race t-shirt.

Race day is November 23, 2023 in downtown Andover, with a three-day race expo beginning November 20 at the Merrimack Valley YMCA.

Over the last 30 years, thousands of people have gathered their families together to run or walk the 5K or 5-mile route that weaves through downtown Andover, finishing at Andover Landing at Brickstone Square.  

Leading up to the event, the volunteer-run three-day race expo includes shopping, sponsor booths, VIP book signings and more.  

The Feaster Five is managed by DMSE Sports, led by race director Dave McGillivray.

In addition to presenting sponsor Schneider Electric, the volunteer-led Feaster Five is supported by Whirlaway Sports; Run Keeper; On Running; 6K Inc.; St. John’s Prep, Hastings, Jamieson, Lipschutz Family Law Group; Salem Five; LaRosa’s and LaFina Restaurants; M&T Bank; Pentucket Bank; Eastern Bank; Cedar’s Foods; Deluca Chevrolet; Off Season Sports; Costa Fruit and Produce; Andover Landing; Burton’s Grill; Coca Cola; Club Pilates North Andover, and R.C. Lafond Insurance Agency. 

Visit for registration information and more details.

About the Feaster Five Road Race

The Feaster Five Road Race is the largest Thanksgiving Day road race in Massachusetts. Since 1988, the Feaster Five has drawn tens of thousands of participants annually who take part in the 5k or 5 miler walk/run. This race brings together the community and beyond for a fun filled morning of running miles and consuming plenty of pie. It is a longstanding tradition of many families to participate in the race each year. The Feaster Five Road Race is hosted by the Merrimack Valley Striders, a 400+ member running organization founded in 1979. Proceeds from the race benefit the Striders’ high school scholarship fund, local charities, and initiatives in the surrounding communities.


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